12/11/2011 This Way Out

 

Program #1,236

Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle

NewsWrap: Delegates to the National Conference of Australia's ruling Labor Party vote to support marriage equality, but also approve allowing a conscience vote for their MPs on any marriage equality legislation, which analysts say will doom such a bill to failure, while a measure to create civil unions for same-gender and hetero couples wins approval in Queensland's parliament, but the hetero-only federal Marriage Act prevents the issuance of certificates required by some countries verifying that they're not already married to gay and lesbian Australians who want to wed their partners overseas*; Nigeria's Senate approves legislation to criminalize same-gender unions and anyone who supports them, while neighboring Cameroon sentences three more men to prison for homosexuality; applications for marriage licenses by same-gender couples surge in Spain following the landslide election victory of the center-right People's Party, which has challenged in the Constitutional Court the then-Socialist government's 2005 enactment of marriage equality; Russians resent criticism by the U.S. and the U.K. of a bill in the northwestern city of St. Petersburg that would ban so-called homosexual propaganda; some activists in the Netherlands are expressing surprise over unexpectedly-high reports of homophobic abuse in a country viewed as one of the world's most LGBT-friendly, while Gay-Straight Alliances are blossoming in Dutch schools to provide support and greater acceptance for at least half of LGBT students who say they don’t feel safe enough to be out; and the mayor of the Peruvian coastal city of Huarmey voices concern that high strontium levels in the town's water supply is making men gay (written by GREG GORDON, with thanks to REX WOCKNER, produced by STEVE PRIDE, and reported this week by SARAH SWEENEY and MICHAEL LEBEAU)

The longest-serving openly gay member of the U.S. Congress announced his retirement this week. MASSACHUSETTS Democrat BARNEY FRANK, one of four out lawmakers currently in office, said the political realities of redistricting, and the never-ending demands of campaign fund-raising, led to his decision. He’ll probably be remembered most for his outspoken liberal views, his championing of LGBT rights – though not always in step with activists and advocacy groups – and his push for Wall Street reform as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Well-known for never suffering fools gladly, we remember some of his Greatest Hits, including verbally pummeling a bigoted constituent at a town hall meeting; discussing military showering with a reporter from the Conservative News Service; and flaunting his Gay Agenda. President Obama and virtually every major progressive and LGBT advocacy group heaped praise on the long-serving legislator, but BRYAN FISCHER of the virulently homophobic AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION added B.S., fire and brimstone to the mix. Frank quickly ruled out a couple of post-Congressional career options and discussed other possibilities during a Q & A following his official retirement announcement.

It’s beloved by some and condemned by others. Did THE BOYS IN THE BAND break new ground, or did it reinforce negative gay stereotypes? The controversy the play and the subsequent film sparked still simmers more than four decades after its pre-Stonewall debut. Writer-director CRAYTON ROBEY tackles its legacy and its place in LGBT history in a documentary just released on DVD called MAKING THE BOYS.


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December 11, 2011

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